Dec 27, 2013 8:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs


Cheese probably isn’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when thinking about healthy finger food. But as these three recipes show, when used in moderation even that devil in the dairy aisle can be part of a diet-friendly feast. Nibbles like these are a breeze to prepare, keep the party on its feet and will have your guests raving as they count down to the New Year.

Roast Beef & Blue Cheese Spears

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 heads of Treviso or Belgian endive, spears separated
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced roast beef, cut into ribbons

Preparation

  1. Combine sour cream and blue cheese in a small bowl.
  2. Top Treviso or Belgian endive with roast beef and a dollop of the blue cheese cream.

Nutrition

Per serving (makes 16 servings): 15 calories; 1 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 0 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 61 mg sodium; 19 mg potassium.

Why they’ll love it

Think of a Philly cheesesteak without the bread but with a salty-sharp blue cheese kick. Mmmm.

Source: eatingwell.com

Feta Cheese & Fig Bites

Ingredients

  • 9 fresh Mission figs, thinly sliced
  • 24 slices baguette, preferably whole-wheat, toasted
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Preparation

  1. Divide fig slices among baguette slices (about 3 fig slices each). Top each with 1-teaspoon feta cheese and drizzle with honey.

Nutrition

Per piece (makes 2 dozen servings): 79 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 167 mg sodium; 55 mg potassium.

Why they’ll love it

Even in the heart of winter, they’ll taste a sunny Mediterranean afternoon in every bite.

Source: eatingwell.com

Green Chili & Goat Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese, drained (see Tip)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat a glass pie pan with cooking spray. Mash together ricotta and goat cheese in a medium bowl. Drain chilies in a colander or sieve, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible. Stir into the cheese mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with pepitas and chipotle.
  3. Bake until the dip is bubbling at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Tip

To drain ricotta, spoon into a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or a large coffee filter. Place over a bowl and drain in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Nutrition

Per 2-tablespoon serving (makes 3 cups): 53 calories; 3 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 4 g protein; 0 g fiber; 78 mg sodium; 35 mg potassium.

Why they’ll love it

Make your own chips by baking flour tortilla wedges for 5–7 minutes in a 400 F oven. You’ve just given nachos a healthy makeover.

Source: eatingwell.com 

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